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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BlitzFritz, Oct 30, 2011.

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  1. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Now that Ras-I Dowling has gone to IR it seemed timely to reflect on BB's OBVIOUS strategy of trying to get VALUE by drafting players who has serious UPSIDE but are available deeper in the draft due to injury status.

    This is a strategy that carries risk, since the injured player may not pan out. But it also has significant return if a later round player can play at close to 1st round potential in the National Football League.

    Who can you name that falls in this category?

    Do you think this is a good strategy? (are you only willing to praise the upside and complain about the downside?)

    - Ras-I Dowling
    - Marcus Cannon
    - Rob Gronkowski
    - Sebastian Vollmer
    - Brandon Tate
    - ?
    - ?


    -- FRITZ
     
  2. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Terrence Wheatly should be in there too shouldn't he.

    Personally i have never minded this strategy due to the draft picks we create by trading. The problem is like most fan bases ours is very knee jerk, we love all these picks when they happen saying we just got a 1st round talent in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th. But when they don't pan out they say it was a bad pick.
     
  3. Peachhead

    Peachhead PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it's a bit of a stretch to include Vollmer in that list. Especially if anyone cites it as "evidence" of the overall strategy working out. Yes, he missed his entire sophomore year with a back injury. But he played every game of his junior and senior years. He proved beyond all doubt that it was behind him before he was drafted.

    I also think Gronk overcoming his injury was a bit of an outlier and also a little misleading. The average fan hears "back injury" or "back surgery", especially for a guy in the trenches, and alarm bells go off. That was certainly what happened in my mind just after he was drafted. But if what I read back then is true: He had orthroscopic surgery (i.e. non-invasive) to correct something relatively minor and the procedure has a very high rate of success. It wasn't like he had a spinal fusion or something huge like that.

    Cannon may or may not work out. We all are certainly hoping for the best. I didn't like the pick last spring. Although my opinion had nothing to do with his health status. Day 1/early day 2 picks that fall to day 3 are precisely the definition of injury risk/value tradeoff that I'm all in favor of. But I am concerned he won't work out. Strictly for system fit reasons.

    It's the Dowling/Wheatly type of moves that frost my pumpkins. Guys with long injury histories who only fall a half-round at most.

    PS - Does Crable belong on that list? I know he was made of glass here. But I'm not familiar with his pre-draft medical history.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  4. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No Jersey Selected

    I think it's not just taking risks on guys with injuries (bargains), it's looking for hidden gems for whom you're willing to overpay, so I'd add guys like Mankins and TPrice to the list.

    What I'm trying to remember is if any gamble/reach-type players who didn't pan out the first year ended up panning out at all. I can't think of a 3rd-round-or-higher pick in the BB era who did not play regularly/contribute his first year -- be it injuries, development, etc. -- then came on like gang busters a year or two later. Ben Watson is the closest I can think of, and he didn't quite become the player many hoped. Doesn't give me much hope for guys like Price or Dowling, though I'd love it if they proved me wrong.
     
  5. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I do not fault BB for taking an occasional chance on overdrafting a talented player who slips due to injury concern.

    With the Patriots drafting at the bottom of every round for the past decade, BB has had to resort to trades and overdrafting as the main tools in his toolbox to try an infuse the roster with some talent normally not available to him.

    If their is one caveat I would add however,it is that no coach or personnel guy can look into a crystal ball and predict if a past injury is indicative in any way,shape or form of future injury.

    So if BB is using all data available to him from medical reports, college coaches, past history, etc. and he decides a guy is worth overdrafting, then I think we should accept it.
     
  6. mcsully

    mcsully In the Starting Line-Up

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    Here's my take

    Vollmer in 2006 had a back injury.. 1 year
    Same with Gronk. 1 bad year prior to coming out..


    Cannon is such a big question mark right now. But I don't believe he missed any games in college because of Cancer. With the way Waters is playing right now, seems like BB can take his time with this kid.

    Tate's problem wasn't injuries. his problem was he wasn't that great of a WR.. Reason why he was cut

    Ras and Wheatley have injury histories that extend more than 1 year. This is why I scratch my head when we used 2nd round picks on guys who don't have just injuries but have an injury history that extends over 2 years.
     
  7. Trocadile

    Trocadile On the Roster

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    At the time of the draft, I recall commentators saying that he was taken off several teams' draft boards because off his back history, so it is inaccurate to say it was not an issue.
     
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    All of these we view in isolation, perhaps "Patriots Tunnel Vision".. but suspect all teams have issues such as this, in different parts of their game.

    Dowlings injury is a new one, and there is no indication that he will not be back next year..

    Vollmer, Hernandez have had sporadic injuries.. Branch has been remarkably healthy this year.

    Bad backs come with the turf, and there is not much you can do to avoid them... we have been spoiled by the likes of Mankins, Light and Koppen(up to this year) all tough guys who play through this stuff..

    What is the average career in the NFL <4 years I believe, as a group many many have a tendency to focus on these specific injuries instead of a bigger picture in the NFL.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You have to evaluate drafts as part of a bigger picture.
    If you have holes all over your team, then you should be more conservative and get more sure players sacrificing a shot at bigger upside.
    If you are a juggernaut for a decade you can afford to miss on picks, in order to try and hit big. Add in FA philosophy, cap status, where you draft, etc and the answer is a moving target.
    Frankly its stupid to judge drafts without factoring in the landscape of the team when it drafted. Really, the only way to properly evaluate drafts is the ultimate success of the franchise.
     
  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That may be too much common sense for some to understand..

    Fans can parse that this part of the team sux, or that play calling to too conservative, but the way that any NFL team is judged is by their record i.e. the success of their franchise.

    The rest is all idle speculation, that makes great talk radio, i.e. hysteria
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  11. plk

    plk Practice Squad Player

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    Is anyone aware of any actual evidence that some players are injury prone? I know a lot of people assume that some players are injury prone, and this has been repeated to the point that many people accept it as a fact.

    I wonder if there is any data to support this idea? Does the fact that a player has been injured in the past increase the statistical likelihood that he will be injured again? It would be nice to know if this is actually the case or not.

    Please note: If injuries are completely random, some players will still have a lot of injuries (and appear injury prone), and some players will have very few injuries. Think of injuries distributed in a bell shaped curve.
     
  12. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    yes, i personally believe that durability is a trait of individuals, while there is of course a lot of randomness of injuries which are hard to avoid. but certainly some guys are made of stronger material than others, its just hard to figure it all out.

    -- FRITZ
     
  13. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    Excellent point.
     
  14. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I agree that is how to evaluate OVERALL drafting and team building success.

    I think we can also agree that it is possible to evaluate ability to draft playmakers in 1st and 2nd rounds in aggregate on an absolute scale. (I dont have data on how we have done vs other teams, it would be interesting.)

    the notable hits (Mayo, McCourty, Mankins, Solder, Vollmer, Chung, Gronk, even Spikes)

    the notable whiffs (Maroney, Chad Jackson, Wheatley)

    overall, its not so bad.
     
  15. TheSolderKing

    TheSolderKing In the Starting Line-Up

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    -- FRITZ[/QUOTE]


    10chars see 2nd quote my info:cool:
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  16. TheSolderKing

    TheSolderKing In the Starting Line-Up

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    next Draft do we draft NEED over VALUE??? I think we MUST do so:cool:
     
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    This is a great thread topic - one I hope others will offer their thoughts on as its worth exploring

    Let's start with the acknowledgment that the draft is a crap shoot (so is free agency for that matter but at least you know a player's NFL track record at that point)

    Some positions are more of a crap shoot than others

    Belichick, through his tenure, has had many teams with many veterans and often has limited opportunities for rookies. I believe that's prompted him to be willing to take more risks on injured players with "upside" who can be red-shirted for a season as it were.

    While this gamble can pay off big it also has risks - such as the fact that the injuries can sometimes be long-term or otherwise hinder development and play.

    Given the fact that Belichick also likes to trade back to stockpile future draft picks - theoretically giving him the ammunition to move up in the draft and grab a prospect with a better chance of contributing, it's worth considering whether his trading back to grab "value" players or whether he's effectively utilized stockpiled picks to move up to grab higher value players has worked out

    But of course that question assumes that Belichick has a master plan in place - I don't think he does. I think each draft is different and you never know how its going to shake out - and each year every team has different needs and different veterans available.

    So while Belichick isn't exactly making it up as he goes, there's a lot out of his control and he simply adapts as best he can in each draft based partially on need and partially on the quality of player available.

    In short, there's so many factors and variables that it boggles the mind - and I dare say any of us are less qualified and experienced to second guess the draft day decisions that Belichick has to make.

    That doesn't mean Belichick is perfect - but nor does he have 20/20 hindsight available on draft day.
     
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